Night by Elie Wiesel

Night

Night is Elie Wiesel's masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie's wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author's original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects...

Title:Night
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0374500010
Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:120 pages

Night Reviews

  • Kim

    There is little that freaks me out more than the Holocaust. And I'm not belittling it at all with the phrase 'freaks me out.' Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I felt sufficiently desensitized enough by television violence to be able to gauge how often I need to shake the jiffy pop and run to the bathroom before the program/violence resumes.

    Elie Wiesel's

    brings me back to my senses, makes me hate the cold hearted bitch I've learned to be. And not by some overtly dramatic rendition of the ho

    There is little that freaks me out more than the Holocaust. And I'm not belittling it at all with the phrase 'freaks me out.' Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, I felt sufficiently desensitized enough by television violence to be able to gauge how often I need to shake the jiffy pop and run to the bathroom before the program/violence resumes.

    Elie Wiesel's

    brings me back to my senses, makes me hate the cold hearted bitch I've learned to be. And not by some overtly dramatic rendition of the horrors of life in a concentration camp but more of the LACK of it. The down to the nitty gritty telling of what happened during the year that he was imprisoned. It wasn't going for the kick to the gut reaction, more of a confused, inconceivable retelling of day to day events, and this---this--- is what really makes me shudder and be at a loss for words. Hell, words? Who am I kidding? Try coherent thought.

    His description of his last encounter with his mother and little sister:

    Words. The power they can hold is devastating. Yes, not a new thought, not an original one, yet fucking true nonetheless. Buna. Buchenwald. Mengele. Auschwitz. Words, but ones that incite something within. Creepy crawlies or nausea. Fear.

    I have met only one Holocaust survivor, that I'm aware of. And 'met' is too strong a word. I was working in a store during college and was collecting payment from a customer who handed me the money and flashed his tattoo. I paled. My eyes darted from the faded black green numbers that served as this man's identity to his face and knew that I was just another gawker. That in that one moment I had created a history for this man. No.. he WAS history.

    Certainly makes you rethink being pissed off that Sbarro's had left the food court.

    I think that my kids will most likely never meet a survivor. That books like

    and

    will have to serve as an education, a reminder that THIS, in fact, DID happen and that it is cruel and moronic and downright irresponsible to believe otherwise.

    I could say that I did have some sense of relief that at least I wasn't alive during this. That I didn't sit back and have some vague understanding of this going on. But, that's not really the case, right? We have Rwanda and Darfur and god knows what other insane situations happening out there---and we're outraged over the price of an iPhone.

    So, Elie Wiesel's account, at 112 pages, serves as a powerful, undeniable, testament. As simply stated as that.

    And in the Preface to the New Translation, he says:

    For me, yes. Most definitely, yes.

  • Stephen

    This book is a

    to everyone of good will in the world and should stand as a stark reminder of both: (1) the almost unimaginable brutality that we, as a species, are capable of; and (2) that when it comes to preventing or stopping similar kinds of atrocities or punishing those that seek to perpetrate such crimes,

    and must take responsibility for what occurs "on our watch."

    This remarkable story is the powerful and deeply moving acc

    This book is a

    to everyone of good will in the world and should stand as a stark reminder of both: (1) the almost unimaginable brutality that we, as a species, are capable of; and (2) that when it comes to preventing or stopping similar kinds of atrocities or punishing those that seek to perpetrate such crimes,

    and must take responsibility for what occurs "on our watch."

    This remarkable story is the powerful and deeply moving account of Ellie Wiesel's personal experiences as a Hungarian Jew who is sent with his entire family to the infamous Nazi concentration camps of

    and later

    . The most chilling aspect of the narrative for me was the calm, casual way that so many of the nightmarish events that Elie witnesses were performed. For example, early on in the account, Elie is separated from his Mother and sisters (never to see them again). This life-altering, traumatically painful action is done so quickly and in such an off-handed, bureaucratic manner by the Nazis that trying to grasp the reality of it made me physically sick.

    That was only the beginning. Elie goes on to chronicle his subsequent attempts not to be separated from his father and the horrors he was forced to witness and endure. Along the road of this terrifying journey, we hear in Elie's own words of the growing disgust of his 13 year old self for both mankind and for God and how he eventually lost completely his own humanity in his resolve to do whatever he had to in order to stay alive.

    Written in a simple, unsentimental style (which makes the horrors described seem somehow more shocking), this is one of those important life-changing books that I believe everyone should read.

    HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

  • Navessa

    The author, who is actually in the above picture, said it best in the forward;

    I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, even understand what happened there? Can modern men and women

    that cursed universe?

    I’m not entirely sure.

    I first read this in my eighth grade History class. I was 13. It changed my life. Before this book my world was sunshine and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether or not a boy named Ja

    The author, who is actually in the above picture, said it best in the forward;

    I think we can all agree with that. But can we, the reader, even understand what happened there? Can modern men and women

    that cursed universe?

    I’m not entirely sure.

    I first read this in my eighth grade History class. I was 13. It changed my life. Before this book my world was sunshine and rainbows. My biggest concern was whether or not a boy named Jason liked me back. I got mad at my mom when she made me go to bed on time, I complained if I didn’t like what we were having for dinner and I argued about what I was and wasn’t allowed to watch on TV.

    I thought I knew about WWII. Both of my grandfathers served in it and so my parents wanted to make sure that we understood the sacrifices they made, the things they saw. I watched documentaries about it with my father, the history nerd, listened to the few stories that my grandfathers

    tell, but up until that point I had been intentionally sheltered from the horrors of the holocaust. I had only been told in the vaguest terms what had happened, that so many millions of people had been killed, that Hitler and his men had sought to exterminate the Jewish people. My parents wanted to spare me from what exactly that meant until they thought I was mature enough to be able to absorb it.

    But then I read this.

    And for the first time in my life I was completely self-aware. I felt like a child, like a complete and utter fool. For what were my “problems” compared to those of this narrator? How “hard” was my life compared to what he endured? What millions of people similarly endured? I now understood my own insignificance in the grand scheme of things and suddenly the reality of the world was a crushing weight. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was dark. It was ugly and unforgiveable.

    I remember getting really angry when I finished this. Mostly I was angry at the world and at humanity as a whole but I unfairly turned some of that on my father. After all, he hadn’t prepared me for what I found in this book. At one point I even demanded that he explain this…

    to me.

    He couldn’t.

    Fifteen years later, my second read of this book has impacted me just as much as the first. There’s this question I kept asking myself while reading. That question, was ‘How?’. I’m sure that ‘Why?’ might seem the more obvious choice here but I couldn’t let myself wander down the rabbit warren that is that question. Madness lies at the end of it. So I’m left with ‘How?’. How did this happen? How did so many average human beings contribute to

    ?

    How did the SS working in the camps reach the point that they were physically and mentally able to toss live infants into flames?

    How were the German girls that lived within

    distance of Auschwitz able to pass love notes to the soldiers that marched their skeletal prisoners past?

    How did these same starving prisoners manage to run 20 kilometers in the freezing snow?

    How could the SS officers that shot them if they stopped on the first day of their death march then shout encouragements to them the next?

    How could the German citizens near the train tracks throw bread into the prisoners’ cattle cars just to watch them murder each other for it?

    How could human beings do these things to each other?

    How?

    HOW?

    Like my father, I have no answers.

    And that, I believe, is why many modern humans will never really be able to

    the things that happen in this book. Absorb it, yes. Bear witness to it, yes. Understand it? Hopefully never.

    I finished this at lunch today. And now I’m sitting in my cubicle, glancing at my neighbors and wondering if they’re capable of this kind of depravity. Am I? What would I do to survive? Would I beat my own father to death for the bread in his hand? I hope to God that none of us will ever have to find out the answers to these questions.

    If you read a single book in your life, this should be it.

  • Stephanie

    I am at a loss for words - just moved beyond belief. I decided to re-read this book in 2016 - the year that

    passed away.

    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 where the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel had delive

    I am at a loss for words - just moved beyond belief. I decided to re-read this book in 2016 - the year that

    passed away.

    He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 where the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a "messenger to mankind," stating that through his struggle to come to terms with "his own personal experience of total humiliation and of the utter contempt for humanity shown in Hitler's death camps", as well as his "practical work in the cause of peace", Wiesel had delivered a message "of peace, atonement and human dignity" to humanity. He was a hero in delivering his message - see below links for further on his life.

    Recommended for everyone.

  • Candi

    These words and this book just tore at my heart. I have seen

    , have heard of

    for many years now. I waited to read it, unsure what I could possibly gain from reading another account of the evil existing among our fellow human beings – I will become enraged and depressed. I can’t change history. I will be forced to examine my own faith and I

    These words and this book just tore at my heart. I have seen

    , have heard of

    for many years now. I waited to read it, unsure what I could possibly gain from reading another account of the evil existing among our fellow human beings – I will become enraged and depressed. I can’t change history. I will be forced to examine my own faith and I don’t want to do that. But then I discovered that my son was assigned this book as part of his summer reading for a high school English class. What do I want him to learn from this book, from this dark piece of our not too distant past? Should he pass it by so that he doesn’t have to experience the horrifying details, feel the terrible injustice in this world? No. I do not want him to be a passive bystander. I want him to understand that narrow-mindedness, hatred and bigotry exist despite his fortunate and protected upbringing. Other human beings are right now suffering unimaginable sorrow, are being cruelly maltreated. History does repeat itself, perhaps with varying backgrounds, different groups of individuals. We can’t let this happen. My son needs to read this book. His children need to read this book someday. I need to read this book. I did. I read this book and I cried. I was angry. I was disgusted with humanity. I understood Elie’s words above, why he felt such despair. Everyone should read this book at least once. This is a slim book with a tremendous message.

  • Brina

    The first time I read Night by Eli Wiesel I was in an eighth grade religious school class. At that time it had recently become a law in my state to teach the Holocaust as part of the general curriculum, and, as a result, my classmates and I were the torchbearers to tell people to never forget and were inundated with quality Holocaust literature. Yet even though middle school students can comprehend Night, the subject matter at times is still way over their heads. The book itself although a prize

    The first time I read Night by Eli Wiesel I was in an eighth grade religious school class. At that time it had recently become a law in my state to teach the Holocaust as part of the general curriculum, and, as a result, my classmates and I were the torchbearers to tell people to never forget and were inundated with quality Holocaust literature. Yet even though middle school students can comprehend Night, the subject matter at times is still way over their heads. The book itself although a prize winner blended into the religious school class and receded to the back of my memory bank.

    These years later I have been enjoying a religious lifestyle for my adult life. Upon hearing that Nobel Laureate Eli Wiesel passed away recently I thought now was as good of a time as any to reread his award winning account of surviving the Holocaust. Although only 120 pages in length, Wiesel's memoir of life in the concentration camps is one of the most powerful pieces of literature that most people will ever read. Wiesel discusses his relationship with G-D and talks about his conflicting feelings in regards to taking care of his father while in Buna and Birkenau camps. It was not easy to digest.

    Wiesel also writes in length about observing Rosh Hashanah while in the concentration camps. Why praise the Almighty for one's deliverance if one's existence is spent as a prisoner living on crusts of bread? It was easy to forget G-D or denounce His existence, even for the most religious Jews. These passages brought me close to tears.

    On this eve of Rosh Hashanah I can thank the Blessed Creator that I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Even though the world is far from perfect, my family lives in a land of freedom and are free to worship as we choose. Eli Wiesel brought Holocaust awareness to many people and earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. His passing is indicative that few survivors are still with us and we should hear their stories while we still can. Night is a painful yet necessary read, and by reading it I can go into the new year thanking G-D for my right to live in relative peace and prosperity.

  • Sasha Alsberg

    "Our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us desperately." - Elie Wiesel

  • Chris Horsefield

    Upon completion of this book, my mind is as numb as if I had experienced this suffering myself. So much pain and suffering are thrown at you from the pages that one cannot comprehend it all in the right perspective. One can only move forward as the victims in this book did. Step by step, page by page. Initially, numbness is the only way to deal with such anguish.

    Otherwise one becomes quickly overwhelmed by the images that evoke questions that cannot be answered. And yet, I read this book from t

    Upon completion of this book, my mind is as numb as if I had experienced this suffering myself. So much pain and suffering are thrown at you from the pages that one cannot comprehend it all in the right perspective. One can only move forward as the victims in this book did. Step by step, page by page. Initially, numbness is the only way to deal with such anguish.

    Otherwise one becomes quickly overwhelmed by the images that evoke questions that cannot be answered. And yet, I read this book from the comfort of a warm home and a full stomach. Imagine the impact if it were otherwise. Imagine being forced from your home to live in barracks, living off soup and bread, forced to go outside in the winter without a jacket, and perform manual labor from dawn to dusk with the smell of a crematorium in your backyard.

    How many of us could endure this for just one day, let alone, for years? What would this do to us physically and more important, what would this do to us mentally? Yet, we witness in this book the miracle of the prisoner's survival. The strength and raw endurance of the human spirit. We must be reminded of this this glorious strength, but also reminded that it was the weakness of the human spirit that inflicted these crimes on others.

    Humanity has the capability of extreme strength, but also of extreme weakness (which often hides under the guise of self-righteousness and need for power over others). This book is necessary in order to remind us of this. These things must not be forgotten. Read this book even if you think you have read enough of the Holocaust and of pain and suffering. Every book that I have read about the Holocaust offers something new including this one. Read it as a memorial and a tribute. Read it as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have a free society and how we must preserve this freedom at all costs. There are those who would like to take it away. Fascism is alive and well.

    I started reading Holocaust novels after reading

    .

    they are must reads in this genre are of course

    Number the stars.

    I enjoyed that authors other works. That novel was 'The Book' that turned me onto YA WW2 novels. They allow us to reflect on our own lives, learn history and become better people.


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